An Unhealthy Obsession
I’m going to share the following with you because I know woman deal with food and body insecurity issues and simply do not talk about it. A little while ago, I decided to 1) give up dieting and 2) weighing myself. These two things changed my life...
Previously, I skipped meals, only ate low fat or skinny foods and tried every diet under the sun. From Weight Watches, lemon detox, 1-week juice cleanses, raw till 4, paleo, Aitkens, high protein, keto… the list is endless. I’m not saying that these diets won’t help you reach your 5kg weight loss goal short term, they probably will, as you’re cutting out so many foods and food groups. However, for the past 10 years, the food restriction stemming from these FAD diets completely ruined my relationship with food. It became complicated.
For so long, I created rules about what I could and couldn’t eat. The more adherent I was, the more in control I felt. The longer I stuck at it, the more obsessive I became and the more distorted my eating habits got. An obsession with living such a healthy life resulted in zero self-love and a complete disconnection from my body. I couldn’t even tell you what food I enjoyed eating because the days where I could sit down to a bowl of pasta without the anxiety of how many carbohydrates were in it, were long gone.
Now the other half of the problem, was the number on the scales. How many of you have had a digit rule how you felt for the rest of the day once you’ve stepped onto those bathroom scales? If I’d put on weight, I’d break down, sulk and be in a negative frame of mind. Sometimes putting on weight was actually the biggest motivator to eat less and exercise more, further fuelling my unhealthy obsession with being thin. I look back at this now and it breaks my heart, that myself worth came down to a number. You can imagine how this vicious cycle would have impacted my mental health, with a constant pressure to be better, to be more perfect.
The more permission I give myself to indulge without guilt, the easier my relationship with food becomes. The more freedom I give myself with food, the more connected I feel to my body. This can bring so much angst for people, but I really believe you have to get uncomfortable to get comfortable again. By shifting your focus to how you feel, how much energy you have and how strong you are, you still can enjoy living a healthy life but without the obsession. For me it’s been a complete game changer.
Please know that you aren't alone in this. Reach out to family and friends if you're feeling stuck and would like you someone to talk to or alternatively we can work through this together. I'm here to help! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or head over to my contact page.